As part of our winter fundraising appeal - a warm welcome to akt - we want to share some stories from the young people we help. The festive period, although a happy time for many of us, can be an incredibly lonely and distressing time for LGBTQ+ young people living in hostile environments or experiencing homelessness.

Our support is extremely vital this winter. 33% of all young people getting in touch through our live chat do so with an immediate need for accommodation, with many others also experiencing or fearing abuse, violence or hostility.

Earlier this year, we were contacted by a young woman whose brother – Billy – was experiencing domestic abuse in their family home. She mentioned that their parents were not allowing Billy to attend his university lectures, have his own money or even leave the house.

Our digital services caseworker asked Billy’s sister to send over some extra information and we were able to work with her to help Billy escape the house and get to a place of safety. We then referred him to a local LGBTQ+ domestic abuse service as well as his local authority for a homeless assessment. After just two days, he was provided with supported accommodation! 

Through akt’s Rainbow Starter Pack personal grant programme, Billy was finally able to buy essential items for his new flat. We also supported him to make a claim for benefits, get an official form of ID and sign up for employability services in his area.

Billy explained that communicating through WhatsApp messages and voice notes was the easiest and most accessible way for him to keep in touch.

He is now settled, safe and happy, and also started university in September!

Without the live chat function on our website, Billy’s sister might never have been able to get in touch with us. We must make sure that we are doing everything we can to make it easy for all young people who need our support to reach us. Please help us be there by supporting our appeal today and make sure that no one is left out in the cold this winter.

Thank you.

 

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